The Vancouver Whitecaps returned to their winning ways at home and put together a good outing against a rather poor Philadelphia Union side. When a team gets a 3-0 win, with clinical finishing and solid defending, it is difficult to identify a member of the squad who did poorly. So, in this edition of the report card, we will talk about those Whitecaps who stood out due to their especially good performance.
David Ousted (A+) - The Great Dane and his defensive line were able to close the gates one more time and add another check to the clean sheet column. However the Danish goalkeeper came up big at the 26th minute with a save that (at the time) preserved the 0-0 and kick started the Vancouver attack that had been sluggish up to that point. For many, that save is already a contender for save of the year.
Matias Laba (A) - What else can we say about the Argentinean that we have not said before? After sitting out one game serving his suspension, Matias came, saw, conquered and once again proved that he is one of the best (perhaps THE best?) defensive midfielders in the league. Laba's importance in the tactical layout of this team cannot be understated. His ball distribution and ability to recuperate the ball and start the transition into attack allows this team to become much more poignant.
Pedro Morales (A-) - The Captain has come under much scrutiny for his play in the first third of the season. While Morales did not grab the game by the scruff of the neck for long periods of time, he finished the match with a goal and an assist. What else can we really ask for?
Octavio Rivero (A-) - The Uruguayan striker returned to his scoring ways leaving behind a four game scoring drought. As always, Rivero worked very hard and earned his sixth goal of the season by pressing and battling to get possession of the ball. His performances were aided by an improved level of service that allowed him to have several more sniffs on goal than in previous matches.
Kekuta Manneh (C+) - The young Gambian was, perhaps, the slowest performer of the day. His attacks were blunt and amounted to little in the last third of the pitch. Performances like this one reignite the seemingly never-ending debate as to whether Kekuta's role is best off the bench or as a starter.
Kendall Waston: As James Bufton wrote this week, the Hulking Costa Rican, has become an elite central defender in this league. Perhaps more importantly, it seems that Kendall has been able to find the right formula that allows him to use his strength without racking up yellow cards.
Pa-Modou Kah: Kah has received a large amount of criticism due to his rather noticeable mistakes. Against the Union, however, the former Norwegian international was able to put together an almost flawless performance.
Tim Parker: The native of Hicksville, NY made his MLS home season debut in place of injured Steven Beitashour and ahead of natural right back replacement Ethen Sampson. Parker was well positioned at all times and even ventured to join the attack on a couple of occasions. It certainly looks like Parker has a promising future with this team.
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